words & photos by Erez Avissar
Going by phone/digital camera clips I'd seen online, I wasn't expecting what I got from Neon Indian Tuesday night. This genre called "chillwave" seemed to me all but doomed to ever really work well in the live setting -- not only is it all lo-fi and bedroomy, but Alan Palomo's peers (Toro Y Moi, Washed Out, Memory Tapes) didn't make the decision to recruit a live band. Opener Toro Y Moi was good, but yeah, there is only so much one man can do live.
Neon Indian, fresh off a European tour, played with loads of confidence, improvising, tweaking, and expanding. And they delivered: "Terminally Chill" hit hard, as did "Deadbeat Summer," and the rest of the highlights from their great record. I didn't think there were any songs left for an encore, but what did they do? Come back out (sans-Leanne Macomber) as Vega to play an extended (12" version?), totally spaced/funked-out "No Reason," temporarily turning the place into the best club on earth.
Neon Indian finish their three-night NYC run at Brooklyn Bowl tonight (12/17) with Tigercity and Awesome New Republic (tickets available at the door?). More pictures from the first of two shows at Mercury Lounge below...
Toro y Moi